Category Archives: Development

Journal Prompt – week 38

The most difficult thing about being this age is

As the pastor was discussing the vision for the upcoming year, he mentioned things that younger people respond to. While discussing this with my husband on the way home I realized when I was younger there were things I wished the church would do that I could more easily respond to. Older people were saying ‘we have always done it this way’ or ‘they need to learn to accept things as they are’ and on and on. Here I am, decades later saying ‘but what about the people who are here now’ and ‘what about me’ and on and on.

When I look back, I see many changes in my life reflecting my age at the time.

Many changes have taken place in my life. I was a young mother of small children at one time. Today I am the grandmother of teenagers. Once I wore skirts above my knees, today I seldom wear a skirt. Once I would only wear my best outfit to church, today I wore jeans and sandals. Time change.

The most difficult thing I find about being this age (60 at the time of this writing) is accepting that I am this age. When I was younger, anyone this age was OLD! People this age were talking of retiring. Today, I look in the mirror and see someone who is no where near retirement; someone who still has so much life to live.

How did I get to be this age? I guess the more important question I need to consider after looking at the most difficult thing about being this age, is what am I going to do with my life – even at this age.

How about you? No matter your age, there are difficulties to consider. What are some of yours?

Journal Prompt – Week 37

I recently came across a quote from John Steinbeck’s book “East of Eden”. It reads, ‘now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good’.

If I read the book before I do not recall. I have since, bought the book. The phrase says so much too much to me.

And now that you don't have to be perfect, you can be goo.

First and foremost, I find the phrase to be freeing. I know I can not perfect, yet I expect perfection in myself.

I don’t expect perfection from others, yet I expect perfection in myself.

WHY!?!?!?

I used to believe striving for perfection meant I was giving it my best. I have since realized it just meant nothing I ever did would never be good enough.

It’s a struggle to allow myself to be happy with ‘good enough’; to quit looking and thinking I coulda/shoulda/woulda done better.

Striving for perfection and knowing it couldn’t be achieved only paralyzed me. If it can’t be perfect don’t do anything became the rule.

Expecting perfection in everything took something away from me – internal peace. There is constant frustration, anger, and self loathing when the chaos of imperfection rules.

Once I accepted ‘good enough’ I accomplished so much more. And I am able to enjoy my accomplishments.

Do you struggle with ‘good enough’? Are you willing to accept it?

What perfection is holding you back?

Journal Prompt – This Week’s Truth

Remind yourself of one (or more if you like) truth. 
Example: I am capable. I can and will complete that assignment.
What is one truth you will remind yourself of this week?

I am amazed sometimes at the things I say to myself. Things I would never say to anyone else.

“You are useless.” “You will never succeed.” “You know they didn’t mean it when they said you looked nice today.”

I have to STOP the negative self-talk. I won’t say these things to others, why do I say them to myself?

I know I cannot change everything in my self-esteem all at once. So I will face down one lie at a time.

The first I need to face down is a simple two-word phrase “Yes BUT,”

That “yes but” response is like looking into a shattered mirror. There is no clear picture.

For example, telling myself “you can’t do anything right”. What do you mean I can’t do anything right? I made the bed, cleaned the house, fixed meals for my family.

Yes, but…….. you missed that cobweb in the corner.

Yes, but ….. you overcooked the beans.

Yes, but….. you really should have washed the sheets before you made the bed.

Yes, but…..

And it goes on and on and on. For every single thing I accomplished, I will find two or more I did not. Gotta keep that negative column full.

Enough is enough.

Today, I will accept my successes and fight not to tear them down. Yes, it is a fight. It is an ongoing battle. It takes only 1 defeat to ruin my day. So today I will focus on this one battle. There are many more, but I will choose this battle today. And tomorrow I will continue this battle. If I take a punch, I will catch myself, say out loud “STOP the Negative Talk” and I will move forward.

As I am ready I will add look at another lie and begin to do battle with it. I could make a list of many things, but that there is an old phrase “Success is a Series of Small Wins”. So I am starting small. First this win, then the next.

And I won’t do it alone. I share my lie and my desire to defeat it with those around me who will encourage me. They hold me accountable saying ‘yes but what is the success you will focus on’. I will then choose to whom I will listen: that person helping the put-down; or the one building me up. Yes, there is a choice there too

What negative self-talk lie will you face down this week and who will you choose to encourage you?

Weekly Journal Prompt – week 35

I have recently been looking at my life, considering the decisions I have made. Why did I say ‘yes’ to that? What would I absolutely refuse to do?

Do you ever struggle with holding firm to your values? Please tell me I am not the only one.

One thing I have come to realize is that when I am seeking to please someone else, I may set aside my values; giving that person control over me. Then when I set my values aside, I feel so bad inside I cannot cope. The other person doesn’t have or take responsibility for that. It is all on me.

It was during one of these episodes I made the decision to become a “Former People Pleaser”. It means I may be left out; I might be teased. I might feel lonely – for a short time. In the end, I will be able to look myself in the eye when I face that mirror each day. I won’t want to shrink away from the strong person I see.

I have to stand firm in my beliefs, my priorities, my personal values.

If I don’t, who will?

Journal Prompt – week 34

Some of my most frustrating moments come when I say ‘yes’ to something I wanted to say ‘no’ to.

Do you do the same? The journal prompt for this week asks “How do you feel when you do this?”

A hard lesson to learn was that ‘no’ is a complete sentence. It is okay to say ‘no’ and not give a long drawn out explanation as to why. Once I finally realized this, I was able to step further in my “Recovering People Pleaser” phase. I do slip back at times, but each time I am reminded why I learned to say ‘no’

By saying ‘no’ to things that stretch me beyond my coping skills, I can enjoy the times I say ‘yes’ more fully.

Journal Prompt Week 33

I was recently asked a question and struggled with the answer. That seemed like a perfect journal prompt.

This week I wonder I challenge you to “Describe yourself in 15 words or less”

Describe yourself in 15 words or less

I started by looking at an identity statement I made years ago. “I am a citizen of heaven (Heb 13:14), straining toward what is ahead (Phil 3:13), bearing witness of Christ (John 1:7), awaiting His return (1 Cor 1:7).

If I take out the Scripture references, I am at 18 words. And I wonder, does that describe me? It is my ultimate goal, but am I there?

I am a woman trying desperately to turn off the voices of the lies of the world and listen to God’s truth. Well, that is 22 words.

I am a woman living to encourage others to find their best within themselves. Hmmmm, I wonder.

I will keep working on this. What are you coming up with for yourself? If you are comfortable doing so, share in the comments below. Or send me an email – TerryAnn at TerryAnnPorter dot com. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Abstract Absolute

I did it again. I dropped the ball on something I was working on. I usually am on top of things. But this one slipped through the cracks. I immediately started the personal rant “I should not have this job” “I can’t do anything right” “I always screw things up”.

Abstract Absolute - that moment when you take one non-success and make it into an ALWAYS.

Well, that isn’t exactly true. I am very good at my job. I am also human. I am a wife, mother, grandmother, volunteer, homemaker……. Sometimes things slip. It doesn’t mean I am a failure, it simply means I failed in this one event.

Webster defines “abstract” as disassociated from any specific instance; and defines “absolute” as positive, unquestionable.

An “Abstract Absolute” occurs when you take one moment of non-success and make it into an ALWAYS.

Another example would be:  I just messed up making dinner tonight. It didn’t turn out right. “I always do this. I cannot cook. I am a failure in the kitchen. I can’t even boil water!”

The truth in that scenario: I have fixed 3 meals a day without any problems for weeks/months/years. I had an issue tonight. That’s all it is. Something went wrong tonight with this one meal. I am a good cook who just didn’t fix a tasty meal this one time.

Have you spoken an Abstract Absolute to yourself? How do you step back and look at it accurately?

Something went wrong. You do what you can to fix. You move on. The incident failed, you are not a failure.

Think of ways to catch yourself using an Abstract Absolute in your speaking. Celebrate that you caught it. Move on. Watch the attitude of Absolute lessen over time.

Journal Prompt – week 31

Are you participating in the weekly journal prompts? I hope you are finding hope and dreams within yourself through the questions.

This week I have spoken with several women this week who wanted to do something, but just couldn’t take that step. I have battled that myself lately.

I asked each of them, and I asked myself to fill in the blank: I really want to (blank) but an afraid to.

When looking at we want, consider taking one step, just one, toward that goal.

What would that step be? What does it look like? After you have taken the step and look back, what has changed?

There is so much to ponder this week. Where will your one step take you?

Journal Prompt for this week

I recently met an online friend for coffee. During our discussion, she asked about a time when I had excelled at something; a time when I had stepped out of my comfort zone. I told her about a knit and crochet bible study I created. I explained how it came about, then how I asked the women’s leadership of the church I was attending if we could try it the following semester. I was excited telling her the process and challenges and successes.

In recalling the story she then asked me what was stopping me from stepping outside my comfort zone and into the next creation I had on my heart.

Once I realized I had done it before, doing it again didn’t seem so difficult.

Celebrate something you excelled at in the past. What is stopping you from doing so again?

If you wish, share your thougths below!

Journal – week 29

Whether you believe you can or can’t, you are correct. Mindset makes such a difference in everything we do.

With this in mind, this week my journal prompt leads me to looking at the word “failure” and asking the question, “Is it a subjective word (based on feelings and opinions) or an objective word (based on fact). Why?